Saturday, October 3, 2015 article on Chelsea mammoth

A woolly mammoth skeleton was recovered near Chelsea, Michigan, and may show signs of human butchering.
Mammoth remains could be oldest evidence for humans in southeast Michigan.
A mammoth whose skeleton was removed from a Washtenaw County field this week may have been butchered by humans, the University of Michigan announced in a press release issued Friday.  If the extinct elephant relative remains were indeed cut by humans and found to be older than about 12,000 years old, they could be the oldest evidence for humans in southeast Michigan.

The mammoth bones were recovered from a farm owned by James Bristle in Lima Township near the city of Chelsea, Michigan, about ten miles southwest of Ann Arbor.  A team of University of Michigan paleontologists led by Professor Daniel Fisher, along with excavator Jamie Bollinger of Bollinger Sanitation and Excavating in Chelsea, who donated his time, were able to recover about 20 percent of the animal's bones, including the skull and two tusks, numerous vertebrae and ribs, the pelvis, and both shoulder blades.

Fisher described the age of both the site and the animal. "It was an adult male, 40 to 50 years of age, and stood probably 10 feet tall at the shoulder," he told  The Detroit News.  The animal, likely a woolly mammoth instead of its larger relative the Columbian mammoth, died between 15,000 and 11,700 years ago.

In the University of Michigan press release, Fisher said that the site held "excellent evidence of human activity" associated with the mammoth remains.  "We think that humans were here and may have butchered and stashed the meat so that they could come back later for it," he continued.
Click on the link in the headline for more about the discovery and a Reuters video that is higher quality than the following clip from Wochit: Holy Woolly Mammoth!!! Michigan Farmer Unearths Prehistoric Skeleton.

A Michigan soy farmer made the astonishing discovery while he and a friend were digging in his soy field. James Bristle, from Lima township just south-west of Anne Arbor, told media that what he initally thought was a fence post turned out to be a rib bone and the first part of a woolly mammoth skeleton, including its skull and tusks.
Stay tuned for Entertainment Sunday.  I might be up for two posts.

Hurricane Joaquin as viewed from Michigan

I told my readers to "come back for a dish of either gossip or food, I haven't decided which" at the end of A 'Grand Canyon' crosses the surface of Pluto's moon Charon.  Sorry to disappoint them, but I'm serving neither this morning.  Instead, take a rain check, literally, as I write about the weather, specifically Hurricane Joaquin as viewed from Michigan.

First, WOOD-TV takes a serious view of the storm in More rain, flooding forecast along soggy East Coast.

Unrelenting rain across the East Coast showed little sign of let-up early Saturday, with record-setting precipitation expected to prolong the soppy misery that has been eased only by news that Hurricane Joaquin is no longer a threat.
Good news! The hurricane won't make landfall!  It will still soak the east coast.

Of course, what's really important to a lot of people in Michigan is what effect the storm will have on today's Michigan-Maryland game.  WXYZ reports on that in Game time changed for U of M vs. Maryland.

Game time changed for U of M vs. Maryland due to hurricane threat.
Americans demand their entertainment. Therefore, the game, like the show, must go on.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A 'Grand Canyon' crosses the surface of Pluto's moon Charon

I'll be back later today for a post more fitting this month's Dish theme.  Right now, I'm updating Cthulhu and Pluto plus Mordor and Charon with this report from ITN's ODN: New photos show Pluto's moon is covered in mountains and canyons.

New photos of Charon, Pluto's largest moon, show unexpected geological markers including mountains and canyons.  Report by Jennifer Cordingley.
Charon's "Grand Canyon" may be 1000 miles long and two miles deep, but it's still smaller than Valles Marineris on Mars, which is 2,500 miles long and seven miles deep.  Even so, it's larger in proportion to Pluto's moon than the Mariner Valley is to the Red Planet and that's not accounting for the unseen portion on the other side of Charon.

That's it for today's space news.  Come back for a dish of either gossip or food, I haven't decided which.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


The email makes this month's theme seem less than ideal for me.
October's NaBloPoMo Theme: DISH!

Let's dish on who does the cooking at your house, dreaded foods from childhood (that are still dreaded foods), and the people who created your favourite recipes this month with NaBloPoMo.

Food is definitely on the brain due to #BlogHerFood15 in Chicago on November 6th and 7th, but beyond that, colder weather means saying hello to favourite autumn dishes like chili and soups.

This is the perfect time to collect up recipes from your fellow NaBloPoMo'ers and to get your latest creations out there to the wider community.

You can read more about the new NaBloPoMo theme on our opening post.
Fortunately, the post on the website gives a spin I like better.  Follow over the jump.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Snow Monkeys and Emmy Awards: Student sustainability video festival 47

No, it's not final exam time.  Instead, it's a bonus installment prompted by the Emmy Awards.  A third installment of the television honors for news and documentaries was held Monday and the big winner was PBS, who announced their victories in a press release: PBS Wins 17 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, More Than Any Other Organization.
ARLINGTON, VA; September 29, 2015 – PBS programs were honored with 17 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, more than any other organization, at the 36th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards presentation at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, Home of the New York Philharmonic, in New York City on September 28.

“On behalf of PBS and our member stations, congratulations to our all our programs and producers who were honored with News & Documentary Emmy Awards,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “Our mission in public media is to shed light where others may not go--through in-depth investigative journalism, outstanding nature and natural history programming, and independent film--and our 2015 News & Documentary Award winners lead the way. These awards are a welcome recognition of our focus on distinctive content and speak to the extraordinary quality of programming being produced by public media. Congratulations to all of our winners and nominees.”

Acclaimed PBS series FRONTLINE earned six awards, followed by NATURE with four. FRONTLINE’s "United States of Secrets" and POV’s "After Tiller" were tied for Best Documentary.
Two of the statues taken home by Nature caught my attention, as they were for a show that one of my students used for his visual aid this spring, "Snow Monkeys."  The episode won two awards, Outstanding Nature Programming and Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary and Long Form.  Watch the clips from Nature on PBS to appreciate the craftsmanship of the program.

Here's the trailer: Snow Monkeys | Nature, Trailer | PBS

In the frigid valleys of Japan's Shiga Highlands, a troop of snow monkeys make their way and raise their families in a complex society of rank and privilege where each knows their place.
Now the clip that the student used Hot Springs for Snow Monkeys in "Hell Valley" | Snow Monkeys, Nature | PBS.

Japan's Jigokudani became a sensation when hot springs were constructed for the Hell Valley snow monkey troops. The monkeys get important help from the hot springs in the valley, fed by warm volcanic waters, but their survival is a communal effort in a complex society of rank and privilege where each knows their place.
Follow over the jump for two more clips along with another award-winning PBS show that I blogged about.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Briny water flows on the surface of Mars

I'm not done with Mars after posting The science and hype of 'The Martian' and neither is NASA.  Yesterday's big science news was Liquid Water on Mars.  SciShow reports.

Today, NASA announced that there is...occasionally...flowing, liquid water on the surface of Mars. What?!
Thanks to SciShow for telling its viewers not only what the discovery really was, but what it means.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The science and hype of 'The Martian'

There's a lot more to the week's serious entertainment news than ICP's lawsuit against the FBI.  For starters, the past two weekends' box office had a youth dystopia in the top five.  I'll get to that later.  For now, I'm writing about a movie opening up this weekend that is more optimistic, "The Martian."  It promises to be the hard-SF film of the year.  Discovery News asks Just How Scientifically Accurate Is 'The Martian'?  The answer is very.

The upcoming film 'The Martian' is making a huge splash for both scientists and science fans, but how scientifically accurate is it?
This fits right in with the case for colonizing space but with an acknowledgement that space is a hostile environment.

Discovery News is just part of the hype machine, albeit a very informative and informed part.  Here is a video that escaped me from June that is more nakedly promotion of the movie: Ridley Scott's THE MARTIAN Viral Trailer (Science Fiction - 2015).  That doesn't make it any less enjoyable.

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

THE MARTIAN Viral Trailer
A Movie directed by Ridley Scott
Cast : Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Stan, Michael Peña
Release Date : in theaters November 25, 2015.
Genre : Science Fiction
I definitely plan on covering this weekend's box office to see how this movie fares against "Sicario" and the rest of the competition.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Insane Clown Posse's lawsuit against the FBI will proceed

Three years ago, I wrote FBI declares ICP and Juggalos a gang; ICP sues.  It turned out that headline was premature.  The scary musical clowns from Detroit were just preparing for a suit.  They didn't actually file until January 2014, as this WXYZ video shows.

The case went to court in June 2014.  The ACLU of Michigan reported their side of the procedding in I'm a Juggalo, Not A Gang Member: Update on the Case.

The ACLU of Michigan was in court on Monday, June 23 where a federal judge heard arguments in our lawsuit with the Insane Clown Posse. The lawsuit challenges the FBI's erroneous and arbitrary designation of all fans of ICP, known as Juggalos, as a "hybrid" criminal gang.
The judge dismissed the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not show any damages.  ICP and the ACLU of Michigan appealed the decision.  Two weeks ago, they got good news.  NBC reported Insane Clown Posse Lawsuit Wins Appeal in Suit Against FBI for 'Gang' Designation.
A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the Insane Clown Posse in their bid to get the FBI to remove the Detroit hip-hop duo's followers — known as "Juggalos" — from a gang list.
 The lawsuit, filed in January 2014 with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, was later tossed out by a district court in Michigan after it found the plaintiffs had failed to show they suffered any injuries.

But the federal appeals court on Thursday reversed that district court's decision and ordered that the case be considered.
ICP saw this as a major victory, as seen in Rolling Stone's quote from the band's statement.
“We're thankful that the Juggalo family will finally get their day in court," the duo said in a statement on their official site following Thursday's ruling. "Discrimination against someone based solely upon the type of music they listen to is just flat out wrong and it’s time that the legal system acknowledges that. The FBI's labeling of Juggalos as a gang has wreaked havoc on thousands of lives, resulting in job losses, dismissal from military service, eviction, lost child custody and constant harassment and profiling from law enforcement organizations all across the country."
This could still take a while, as no court date has been set.  Stock up on popcorn, as the suit may be even more entertaining than an ICP concert.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sunday's blood moon won't be the end of the world

There's a lunar eclipse tomorrow night, which has received a lot of press.  The sane perspective on the event comes from KPBS's Total Lunar Eclipse and Supermoon This Weekend.

Peggy Pico talks with Jerry Hilburn of the San Diego Astronomy Association to discuss the lunar event this weekend.
There, just a spectacular sky phenomenon.  However, some people are making it out be more than that.  Follow over the jump.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Blog recommendation: You Might Notice a Trend

Tonight, I'm going to do something I don't recall having done since I wrote Blog Recommendation: The Hipcrime Vocab--recommend a blog.  Then, it was Chad (yes, that's really his first name) AKA "escapefromwisconsin" who writes The Hipcrime Vocab.  This time, it's Paul Wartenberg of You Might Notice a Trend.  Both Chad and Paul reflect aspects of my blog, Chad the dark (but not evil) side of my interests, employment, agriculture, energy, economy, politics, and collapse, and Paul the light side, including humor, pop culture, and politics, albeit from an more optimistic perspective than Chad.  Put the two of them together and the result would look a lot like me writing this blog.

I've been reading Paul's blog ever since I stumbled into him while doing the research for Drinks and drinking games for Donald Trump and the GOP debates.  I've since referenced his drinking games and provided the drinks to accompany them in a series of posts: Proof of drinking game concept on Kasich; Drinks for the candidates in tonight's debate; Debate drinking game rules for Carly Fiorina; Oops--Rick Perry drops out; Drink a Flaming Volcano for Jindal; and There's a Santorum cocktail, too.  Paul's reciprocated by linking to those entries and commenting on them as well as Drink to Deez Nuts for President.  Those should have been enough to get me to recommend his blog, but it wasn't.  It was Paul writing "all you seven readers of this blog."  True enough, he only has seven followers, and he's been writing his blog since 2006.  He really deserves more readers.  Therefore, I'm recommending my readers also read Paul's blog.

Here's to hoping the same thing will happen to Paul that happened to Chad.  When I recommended The Hipcrime Vocab three years ago, the blog had only ten followers.  Now, it has 118.  May Paul have at least 50 by the general election next year.  So, will you join me at You Might Notice a Trend?  Come for the drinking games, stay for the bumper stickers!